Mayor card for mining trip attacked

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The Green Party has criticised Far North Mayor Wayne Brown for blurring his personal and public roles on a business card he plans to take to a mining conference in Canada.

Mr Brown's request for ratepayers to cover part of the cost of his trip next month was turned down by a majority of his district council partly because the business card would not provide council contact details, only his private ones.

Mr Brown had asked the council to contribute $3000 toward the trip, saying he was going to promote mining in Northland.

He has already been granted $3000 by business development group Northland Inc and plans to pay $3000 himself. "Wayne Brown needs to decide if he wants to represent the people of Northland who elected him, or his own personal financial interests," Green Party mining spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty said.

Mr Brown owned a 5 per cent interest in Tai Tokerau Minerals, she said.

It was wrong for a leading local politician to promote his own business interests in the name of the community. There was no consensus in Northland that mining was the best way forward, she said.

"Many know that mining is a boom and bust industry that can leave communities worse off. Northland needs a mayor who will represent their long-term interests ... "

Mr Brown, who lives in Mangonui, said: "What's the point of listing a phone number at Kaikohe if I'm seldom there?"

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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